"I should warn you," says Lotte in the car, "that when you begin to work with dogs, you may catch a serious disease. And then you will have it the rest of your life." We look suitably serious, not quite sure if she is. "It is called the dog sledding virus, and I have it badly."
I assure her that I have been a carrier since the age of ten.
We cover the last three kilometres by snowmobile, following a narrow trail round hills and along another frozen lake. I ride pillion behind Lotte, my cheeks and chin going numb, while the other two hunker down on reindeer skins in the trailer and hang on to our luggage. The last of the sun is golden between the blackness of the trees, and I think 'Between dark stems the forest glows', because it's always Tennyson time.
Barking and growling greet us, and as we walk to the lodge we pass a pen in which five fat puppies scramble over their mother to poke their muzzles at us through the wire. Tomorrow is going to be great.
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